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ISSN: 1935-1232 (P)

ISSN: 1941-2010 (E)

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Abstract

Let???s Talk About Psychosis

Author(s): Ann Steele, Paul Chadwick, Rose McCabe

Background: Research suggests that while patients wish to talk about positive psychotic symptoms, psychiatrists may be reluctant to do so in routine outpatient consultations. Aims: To explore the content, context and impact of discussion of positive symptoms within psychiatric consultations. Methods: Thematic analysis was applied to first discussions of positive symptoms, and overall impact assessed on the length of the consultation and the therapeutic relationship. Results: Sixty-five of 143 consultations contained discussion of a positive psychotic symptom. Symptom discussion neither harmed the therapeutic relationship nor lengthened the consultation. Patients’ disclosures strongly corresponded with psychological models of psychosis, emphasizing personal meaning and emotional impact. In contrast, psychiatrists focused on topographical characteristics, such as frequency and location. Strengths in psychiatric practice included using open questions, positive reinforcement and offering explanations tentatively. Conclusions: Findings support discussion of positive symptoms within outpatient consultations, to include necessary assessment of topography and risk alongside exploration of patients’ subjective experience